5-Star Reviews

1.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A Must-Read! November 1, 2019
The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, by Stacy Padula tells the captivating story of several high school and college students who become sucked into a life full of dangerous substances. The book reveals how easy it is for innocent, good kids to become drug addicts, and how little time it takes for harmless fun to turn into deadly situations. Once I started reading the book, it was incredibly hard to put down for it is made up of a number of different storylines, ranging from the story of the football star, Taylor Dunkin, who throws his chances of being in the NFL away as he becomes involved in the growing opioid epidemic, to the stories of several different couples who face immense difficulties as they become entangled in drugs and alcohol.
This book is an easy read that is perfect for young adults in Middle School and High School who are most likely experiencing some of the same things that the characters in the book are dealing with. I would also recommend this book to any parent who is interested in better educating themselves on how to deal with teenage drug and alcohol abuse. Overall, I would rate this book a 5/5 for it addresses the consequences that come with addiction–a topic that is necessary for the coming generations to learn as they are growing up in a time where drug usage and overdose is at an all time high.Show Less
2.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A captivating and educational read perfect for teens and parents! October 26, 2019
The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy A. Padula is a fast-paced and complex novel perfect for tweens, teens, and parents that is hard to put down. The many different story-lines are captivating, and makes you want to read the entire book in one sitting. Gripped Part 1 introduces Taylor Dunkin, a drug addict and dealer who was once a football star. Everyone in his town looked up to him, but after a knee injury left him unable to play, Taylor got into prescription pills. This novel focuses on the consequences of this event, and introduces many other characters who are getting drawn towards a lifestyle of using dangerous substances.

I rate this book a 5/5 and definitely recommend reading it! Gripped Part 1 can help the readers see how easily good kids can get caught up in drugs, and how a recreational activity can turn into an addiction. I think it’s super important that teenagers understand the full effects of drugs, and this book does an excellent job explaining the consequences. It demonstrated that it is easy to get caught on a dark path no matter where you come from, how much money you have, or who your friends are. The author also addresses the stigma surrounding drugs and alcohol, and how the only way to stop the growing opioid epidemic is to talk about it, and help those who need it. I believe every teenager and parent should read this novel as it is both educational and intriguing.Show Less

3.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Coming of Age at Montgomery High October 11, 2019
“The Aftermath,” Book 3 in the Montgomery High Series, continues with the same cast of characters and delves deeper into the lives of the protagonists, including the good and the bad that ranges from hope to despair. I’ve developed a sense of who these teens are as people and how God is working in their lives in a deep and personal way – when the coming-of-age young adults are willing.

The Montgomery High Series is realistic and meaningful and something that all teens who are searching for truth and meaning in today’s chaotic world would greatly enjoy. I look forward to the next book in the series.Show Less

4.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
I was Gripped! October 10, 2019
The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, by Stacy Padula quite literally “grips” the reader into the story, resulting in the inability to put the book down. It transforms readers into the mysterious, yet intriguing realm of young adults, teaching valuable lessons in a journey through the pages. Specifically, Taylor is a main character whose world is turned upside down, along with his family and friends, when he is held captive by an epidemic sweeping the nation: opiates. He goes from being the star quarterback, desired by all colleges, to a drug dealer, desired by all college students. His struggles, unfortunately, form a connection between all the characters seen in the book, allowing readers to see into their lives, and the downwards spiral caused by his addiction.
Gripped Part 1 is a book that can be enjoyable for a wide range of age groups: middle schoolers to parents who want to be educated on the true highschool experience in a captivating way. The lessons learned in this book have the ability to alter young adults perspectives on the importance of joining the “popular” crowd and teach them that everyone struggles with something in their own way in highschool, meaning they are never truly alone. I rate this book a 5/5 and would highly recommend diving into the life of the Montgomery Lake High students. – Review by Olivia, Sharon High School, Class of 2020Show Less
5.
How good kids make stupid choices October 6, 2019
Gripped part 2 is the best book by Stacy Padula so far. it tells the story of how any kid can spiral into bad behaviors given the right (or wrong) circumstances. This book has a dark story but Padula manages to tell the story in a way that you will understand even the most stupid decisions and love the characters who make them.
6.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing Book! September 30, 2019
Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, by Stacy Padula is the fascinating continuation of the story centered around a group of teens about to enter Montgomery Lake High School. They are influenced by older siblings and peers who are involved in drug and alcohol use. Taylor, the older sibling of Marc and Jordan Dunkin is deeply entangled, even becoming a drug dealer. His story continues in this installment of the series, showing how he tries to turn his life around. Simultaneously, the book follows the lives of several younger characters, Lisa, Chris, Jason and Cathy, who about to enter high school. Over several months we see their downfalls and self-realizations that they are on the wrong path in their lives.
Gripped Part 2: Blindsided is a must read for teens in middle school and high school. It is an easy read with a story that keeps you turning the page. In following the lives of the characters, the book demonstrates how damaging peer pressure can be in a teen’s life. Some of the characters, using their faith, are able to abstain from drugs, alcohol and sex. The theme that it is never too late to turn your life around is reiterated in this story, as it is in all the other books in the series. Gripped Part 2: Blindsided is a captivating extension of the series that gets five stars.Show Less
7.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing Book! August 31, 2019
The first book in the Gripped series, Gripped: Part 1 by Stacy Padula takes a compelling look into substance abuse in high school and beyond. The story builds off the Montgomery Lake High series, incorporating the same characters. Gripped: Part 1 cleverly uncovers the back-story of several characters, including Jason, Cathy, Chantal, Jon, Alyssa, Marc and Taylor. The teens range in age, further emphasizing that drugs and alcohol can enter teens lives at an early stage. This book easily draws the reader in, using real-life, relatable teen situations to display the dangers of substance abuse.
The book begins with a twist, focusing on Taylor Dunkin, a former student at Montgomery Lake High. Although previously an all-star athlete, an injury has led him to a painkiller addiction which spirals into worse. The story discusses the people who surround Taylor, specifically, his family and friends. The book captures your attention by flashing from past to present, giving the reader a glimpse into the events that shaped these characters. At the story’s center is the negative impact substance abuse can have on teens’ lives and relationships. Although many questions are answered, the story leaves the reader anxious to discover how Taylor’s story turns out. Gripped: Part 1 is provocative start to this next series by Stacy Padula that should not be missed.Show Less
8.
Teens in High School Coming-of-Age in a Chaotic World of Drugs, Sex, and Jesus Christ August 17, 2019
When Darkness Tries to Hide is the second book in the Montgomery Lake High Series and continues with a new story but the same kids from Montgomery High. The struggles of the Young Adults are authentic and reflect many of the issues that teens face today – bullying, drugs, sex, self-worth, and making good choices. I particularly liked how the author instills hope throughout the book and shows the reader how Jesus Christ truly can make all the difference. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.Show Less
9.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great Series for Young Adults on Dating, Drugs, and Integrating Faith in Relationships August 4, 2019
The Right Person, Book 1 in the Montgomery Lake High Series by Stacy Padula, is a great read for teens and especially teens that struggle with self-worth. The Right Person introduces several young ladies and young men who are freshmen in high school, and they are caught in the crosshairs of coming-of-age and figuring out who they are in relationship to each other and to God as Christians—at least those who attend a church youth group.

If you are a young person and you are struggling to integrate your faith with friends, both male and female, this is the book for you. You will easily relate to the characters in the Montgomery Lake High Series.

Although I am way past my teenage years, I enjoyed reminiscing about those days long ago, and I would have enjoyed reading this as a young adult. I would have learned some things early on rather than the hard way later, and it would have reassured me that many of my insecurities were natural and common, especially when it came to dating.

Author Stacy Padula does a great job understanding the difficulties that teenagers face, and I particularly liked the upbeat ending of The Right Person. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the Montgomery Lake High Series.Show Less

10.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Covers Tough Topics Teens Struggle With August 2, 2019
Covers the things that many young people struggle with from smoking to drug addiction. Highly recommend for teens. Fast paced and with interesting characters young people can relate to.
11.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing Book!! July 30, 2019
The Forces Within, by Stacy Padula, is the fifth and most compelling book in the MLH series. The story focuses on the spiritual battle of several characters in the series, but mainly dissects the actions of Andy Rosetti. Andy finds himself in a strange place called Fallen Lake, in an even stranger house. He is surrounded by his friends but they all seem to take on different roles than he remembers before his accident. After Andy finally wakes up from this alternate reality, he struggles to decipher what the events at Fallen Lake mean.
While Andy battles to find peace, other characters in the story also grapple with their relationships, including their relationship to God. Both Chantal and Katherine look for guidance in trying to give their life up to God and surrender to his will. They look for signs from God to guide them in their lives. Metaphors first mask and then reveal a deeper meaning to many of the characters’ life questions.
The Forces Within is a book unlike any other in the MLH series that is essential and relevant to almost anyone willing to look beneath the surface. The story is full of examples that show how our relationship with God, or lack thereof, is evident in everyday life. The Forces Within shows how the teens in the story are able to analyze the signs and make adjustments to their life accordingly. Finally, the book demonstrates how effective spiritual warfare can be in helping to guide friends from darkness to light.Show Less
12.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great book for teens and parents! July 23, 2019
This is a great read for high school students and parents alike! It really makes you think about what the kids deal with at school! Looking forward to reading the next one!
13.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great read! July 23, 2019
Great book for high school kids
14.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
This is a book not just for Middle School, High School, but for parents and educators. July 23, 2019
This book was for reading pleasure and informing myself on what is an epidemic in our country. I was immediately pulled into the story even though I did not read the first five series. I immediately ordered part 2 so that I could continue on and not wait. The book arrived yesterday. Very well written and having worked in this field as an addiction counselor I found the information extremely helpful in seeing how seductive addiction can be. This would have been an asset for me in that work. This book holds nothing back and is straightforward about the pull of addiction and its consequences.Show Less
15.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Terrific.. A must for young adults July 23, 2019
A wonderful written book from an extremely talented author…
16.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great and important book for all ages July 23, 2019
Great book for all ages, but especially important for teens. Gripped – Part 1 has difficult topics but are important ones that need to be discussed. Highly recommend.
17.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Must read for every teen July 20, 2019
The book, Gripped Part 2 follows the lives of many middle school and high school aged kids, as they venture through this difficult portion of their life. Part 2 focuses specifically on eighth graders as they look to transition into high school. The book follows these young adults to school, parties, and other social events, and demonstrates the difficult situations that are put before these kids. Throughout the story, the social lives of the different kids, intertwine with each other, creating drama, conflict, and new friendships, which makes Gripped Part 2 such a fascinating read.
The book deals with a lot of current issues, including substance abuse of many different drugs. Although the topics of the book may be uncomfortable to talk about at times, it is necessary, as many of these situations are common and middle and high schools alike. It is important for all high school and middle school aged kids to read this book, as it is very likely that they will run into a similar situation at some point in the middle and high school lives.Show Less
18.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great read tackling difficult subject matter July 16, 2019
Great read. Make sure to read part 1 first.
19.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Review From College Freshman July 4, 2019
Gripped Part 2 by Stacy Padula is a book that included a great amount of drastic changes to its characters. Part 2 of the series created an effective transition from the first novel in terms of reintroducing characters and their situations. In this novel, Chris is shown to be the primary protagonist, as he goes through extensive effort in order to get his life back together after being an active drug addict. The Part 1 protagonist, Cathy, is shown to go through a downfall after taking large amounts of Xanax, which caused major changes in her personality and motives. Jason attempts to help Cathy get past her struggles while Taylor is also slowly recovering from his addiction as well.
This novel is an engaging and easy read that is ideal for Middle School and High School students, while also being very applicable to adults wanting to know more about teenage drug abuse. Part 2 shows the efforts that are needed to attempt to even overcome an addiction, which is shown to be extremely hard to complete. This would hopefully influence Padula’s target audience to avoid using drugs in order to prevent going through this tough and painful process. In all, I rate this book a 5/5 and would recommend reading it. I loved this book both because although there was a lot going on, it was relatively easy to follow each character.
– Review by Kyle Banker, Beaver Country Day School, Class of 2019Show Less
20.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great Book July 3, 2019
The book Gripped Part 2 by Stacy Padula, allows readers to learn the backstories of all of the characters from Gripped Part 1. Part 2 gives the readers more context for why the characters made the choices they did, even if they were not smart. This book also emphasizes how doing drugs and drinking can influence everyone around you. Getting involved in drugs at such a young age can change the rest of your life, and that is clearly shown in Gripped Part 2.
Gripped Part 2 will show teens how easy it is to get addicted to drugs and how it can affect everyone around you. Not only will this book show how dangerous it is to start experimenting with drugs, but it could also teach a valuable lesson to anyone struggling with addiction. It shows that even if you stray from your morals, you can always go back.Show Less
21.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
This book guides the reader through a thrilling narrative. July 2, 2019
Gripped Part 2 is the second book in the Gripped series and continues to expand on the themes of teenage drug and alcohol use in the context of the various character’s personal lives and relationships with one another. Taylor Dunkin has gotten himself involved in not just taking drugs, but selling them as well, and the police have begun to take notice. Taylor’s problems are further complicated when his younger brother Marc is notified by the police of their concerns about Taylor, just as Marc is thinking about his college prospects and life after high school. The web of deception fueled by drugs reaches the entire Montgomery community, from middle school students to college and beyond.

This book guides the reader through a thrilling narrative, expertly utilizing flashbacks to demonstrate a complete picture of just how devastating and far-reaching substance abuse can impact not just an individual, but entire families and communities. Gripped Part 2 is an essential book for kids and parents alike as it transports the reader into the mind of middle school age students and young adults, through the characters as they deal with extremely relevant topics and situations that all students will have to navigate through at some point during their teenage years.Show Less

22.
Amazing Book! July 1, 2019
The Battle for Innocence, by Stacy A. Padula, is the latest piece to the puzzle in the MLH series. This book allows the reader insight to the events and influences that shaped the lives of the characters in the MLH series. Before all coming together at Montgomery Lake High, while still in middle school, the young teens are introduced to each other at various parties of older siblings. They are inevitably exposed to situations involving alcohol, sex and drugs. While it is shocking to think of such young kids exposed to these things, reading this book exposes the reality of life for teenagers these days.
I would highly recommend this eye-opening book to any teen and any teen’s parent. The story demonstrates how important faith and spirituality can be to teens at this impressionable time in their lives. The teens who look to their faith to guide them through difficult situations have a much better outcome than those who do not. The book also shows teens that it is okay to say no to alcohol. Throughout the story there are examples of young teens at parties who are not drinking alcohol and are not shunned by their friends. The book focuses on the importance of the early choices teens make and impact that these choices have going forward in high school and beyond. The Battle for Innocence is an important and enlightening part of the MLH series that should not be missed!Show Less
23.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
High schoolers pray too! June 23, 2019
Fast paced high school drama about teens going down the wrong path then finding their way back. Heartfelt & tear jerking for a moment as teens engage in prayer for fellow classmates.
24.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great read for both young and old readers! June 8, 2019
The Right Person is a great book, it tackles some of the real issues that teenagers are met with today. I will be recommending this book to friends and family, young and old to read this book!
25.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Read it! June 7, 2019
The characters and their stories really pull you in. It is tough subject matter but really important to talk about.
26.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing Book! May 31, 2019
The Aftermath, by Stacy Padula, is an exceptional book that continues to follow the lives and challenges of a group of teens at Montgomery Lake High. The teens embody many different lifestyles, challenging each other to find their voice against the many vices that high school social life offers. The characters find a common thread in rallying around a critically injured friend, causing them to interact in ways that normally would not happen. These interactions with people outside their usual social circle is intriguing, sometimes confusing and eventually rewarding.
The teens in the book face challenges such as peer pressure and bullying. The book follows Jason, who is the central character in this installment of the MLH series, through various difficult situations. Jason faces peer pressure from his brothers and classmates to continue on his destructive path of alcohol and drug use. An unlikely friend, Jessie, is the incentive that helps him escape this disastrous lifestyle. Jason is able to take himself from nearly being hospitalized from drug and alcohol use to being confident enough to refuse repeated offers to use drugs. His strength comes from friends who, each in their own way, help him find his faith in God.
The Aftermath is a fascinating story about how important it is to have faith and surround yourself with the right people. While Jason has to ultimately make his own decision to turn his life around, it would not be possible without the right friends. Teens who read this can see what an impact our words and actions can have on another person’s life. Behaving badly can harm those around you, while helping a friend see that there is always hope can save their life. The Aftermath is an inspirational book that I would highly recommend, exemplifying how we can impact others positively by helping them find their faith.Show Less
27.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Review From High School Student May 22, 2019
High School consists of the four most transformative years of your life, both academically, but mostly socially. The introductions of parties, substances, peer pressure, and popularity can completely change one’s personality and mindset. In “The Right Person,” Stacy Padula tells the story of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High as they encounter and face countless social scenarios that change their lifestyles for the long run.
“The Right Person” focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on many substances. In the first weeks of his Freshman year, Chris decides that he wants to avoid his partying ways and instead desires a healthier lifestyle, which is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney: a girl who has strong morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, pursues Chris’ interests and inserts herself into the party scene with Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in.
“The Right Person” depicts the struggles many kids encounter during their high school years through the eyes of compelling characters. The social scene can be very difficult to adjust to, and this can result in many bonds being broken, while also many new ones being formed. I recommend this book to high school and middle school students who are preparing for these tricky, yet important years.
Kyle Banker – Beaver Country Day School Class of 2019Show Less
28.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Powerful & Fast Paced May 21, 2019
“The Right Person” by Stacy A. Padula, exploits the fast paced emotional ups and downs of high school, while introducing that God is in control even when wrong choices are made. God finds a way to meet the characters in this book right where they are. This book will draw high school students in and then floor them with the truth of who God is and how he pursues them. The complexities of individual relationships reminds us that we can have a complex individual relationship with God as well. In the end, this relationship grounds some popular high school students and steers them on to the right track.Show Less
29.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Very captivating to see multi-dimensional characters! May 21, 2019
The Battle for Innocence offers incredible insight and even more character development than the previous books within the MLH series. The flashbacks to the characters in middle school give detailed explanations as to why and how the many characters are the way they are in the present day; something that I have seen very few book series do. I found it very captivating to see multi-dimensional characters and related to them in a whole new way.Show Less
30.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
I would recommend this book and the entire MLH series to all middle and high school age students! May 21, 2019
It is rare to find a narrative that is equally entertaining and educational, yet The Aftermath seems to have mastered this impactful combination. The accuracy in which the book immerses the reader into the mind and thought processes of teenagers and the bubble that is high school is so important. I would recommend this book and the entire MLH series to all middle and high school age students!
31.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
An Inspiring Read! May 21, 2019
When Darkness Tries to Hide illustrates just how impactful support, friendships, and faith are in times of darkness. The character of Jason is so relatable in his various struggles, and his development throughout the book is inspiring to read and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end!
32.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A must-read for both parents and young adults! May 21, 2019
The Right Person by Stacy A. Padula is a powerful first book in the Montgomery Lake High series. My favorite aspect of this book is the subject matter: teenage addiction, because of how accurately the narrative demonstrates real-life temptations and situations that young adults face every day.
33.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great story and characters May 11, 2019
This is a beautifully written book! The characters and the relationships between them are very true to life. There’s a nice flow that is due to the way the writer skillfully knitted the story together. It is perfect for teenagers and young adults, to help them know that nobody’s perfect, we all stumble and fall, but the most important thing is to get back up again.
34.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A Timely Novel May 10, 2019
Gripped is the story of upper/middle class drug abuse, focusing on Taylor, an athlete who’s entered the world of drugs after becoming addicted to painkillers, and his brother Marc, seemingly one of the few kids not seduced by the world of drugs and partying. The Boston Police Department is now investigating Taylor, who’s getting in over his head. It’s a book that sadly reflects a current day reality, where kids as young as twelve are becoming addicted to narcotics. Anyone concerned about the effects of drugs on young people should consider reading the book.Show Less
35.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing book about Andy’s battle May 4, 2019
The Forces Within, the fifth and final book in the MLH series is very different from the previous books. It describes the mental journey of Andy while being in a coma.

Andy finds himself walking in a forest with his friends, scared they flee into an seemingly abandoned house. In this house an unexplainable force is present that drives Andy and his friends to do things they would never do. While searching for their way home they find that some of them have been holding a secret and others are untouched by the force in the house.Show Less

36.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A flashback to the beginning of Chantal’s relationships May 4, 2019
The Battle for Innocence is the forth book in the Montgomery Lake High series written by Stacy Paluda. Like it’s predecessors this book is a page turner. Different however from the previous books is that this book is mostly a flashback. You will learn about the events that resulted in Chantals and Jons breakup and her starting to date Andy.
37.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great character development May 4, 2019
The Aftermath starts three weeks after the storm that happened in MHL#2. After reading the first two books I could not stop reading. Stacy Padula is a master in telling the lives of the teenagers at Montgomery Lake High and writes in high detail how the characters develop. She makes you understand that there is more to a person than meets the eye when giving you insights in the minds of her characters.

Jason is struggling with the darkness surrounding him. After realizing something needs to change he starts talking to Pastor Mark. The Pastor and his family will help Jason finding the light in his life.Show Less

38.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
One event can change your life May 4, 2019
When Darkness Tries to Hide, the second book of the Montgomery Lake High series by Stacy Padula, starts of where MHL #1 ends. Chris has found the light in his life giving him purpose and keeping him away from drugs. In this book we follow Jason, one of Chris’ best friends. Again Stacy Padula has managed to write an amazing book that will keep you reading and wanting more.

Jason is in about the same situation as Chris was in at the start of MHL #2, he is partying, doing drugs and drinking while only being a high school junior. He has just lost his best friend Chris who wants to have nothing to do with him anymore because he is a bad influence on him staying sober.
A horrific storm and resulting accident opens Jasons eyes to how manipulative the people surrounding him truly are however he is so caught in this darkness that escaping it is easier said than done.Show Less

39.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
The book that started my addiction to MHL and Gripped May 4, 2019
The first book in the Montgomery Lake High series sets the stage for all the other books in the series. Author Stacy Padula wrote a real page turner!

The book is about the struggles that adolescents go through. Chris is a high school junior struggling with a drug addition. During the summer before they start high school Chris meets Courtney, then the girlfriend of one of his best friends. He sees a light in her that makes him want to get to know her better. Courtney helps Chris getting over his drug addiction. However over time Courtney changes and loses her appeal to Chris, she has become part of the party scene that Chris left behind to get sober. Chris starts searching for the light that he first saw in Courtney but got lost and finds God.Show Less

40.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing Book! April 30, 2019
The second book in the MLH series, When Darkness Tries to Hide, is a riveting story that continues to follow a group of high school teens through their lives. When a tragedy strikes their group of friends, it causes many of them to take a step back and re-evaluate their recent actions and behaviors. The story demonstrates how impactful our actions, both good and bad can be on others around us.
When Darkness Tries to Hide also reinforces how important faith and friendship can be to teens, especially when they are in a period of personal turmoil. The book displays the importance of persistence in pursuing faith, even when you feel at your lowest. Likewise, taking just a small amount of time to support people you care about can make a life-changing difference as is illustrated through Chris and Jason’s relationship throughout the book.
I would highly recommend When Darkness Tries to Hide to anyone. Although the book’s storyline focuses on the challenges that teens face in high school, its lessons are applicable to anyone struggling with something in their life. The story is also very eye-opening in terms of discussing alcohol and prescription drug addiction. Reading the story of this group of friends shows that these vices are more commonplace than we might realize and can make us more aware of the dangers that they pose. This is definitely a must read!!Show Less
41.
A novel filled with twists and turns! April 23, 2019
“The Forces Within” by Stacy Padula is full of twists and turns as well as unexpected endings. It is the perfect read for someone that loves mystery or plot twists. The story is based on a group of teens who find themselves in an unfamiliar house while one of their friends is lost in what seems to be the vast woods. As their journey to find their friend begins, they also try to find themselves as well. Dealing with internal struggles as well relationship problems, this book is filled with everything interesting. I loved the book due to the fact that the struggles in the book are so relatable and true. Its a great read especially for teens and young adults. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a mysterious yet dramatic book.Show Less
42.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Will help teens going through tough times! April 23, 2019
In the book “The Battle For Innocence” by Stacy Padula, it focuses on the teens you have come to know but now, they are in 7th grade. It gives a small inside look at how they got to be where they are now. You get to experience some of the most confusing times in your life over again but with more drama. There is also a serious aspect to the book, which makes it relatable and helpful to any incoming freshman or high schooler. Although 7th grade may sound easy for most, for MLMS students, it is far from it. The book touches on high school relationships, drinking and hardship. Which I personally believe should be spoken about in middle school onward to give a glimpse into the real world. Overall I highly recommend this book to incoming freshman or any high schooler. It’s a great read while giving you lessons most schools don’t teach about.Show Less
43.
Love this Novel! April 23, 2019
The Aftermath by Stacy Padula is mainly focused in on one the characters, Jason. As you know, he is a little bit of the typical high school druggy. Throughout the book, he is stuck in his party ways. Constantly drinking and smoking until he comes to the realization that enough is enough. He explains his whole situation to Pastor Mark, which is surprising to say the least but, he gets a little more than expected from it. This book shows readers that times may be tough but you need to push through. With the help of great friends and family supporting you, anything is possible. I believe this book is good for those readers that are struggling with something so similar. It could potentially make them realize this isn’t the path they should be going down. They could have a change of heart or way of life.Show Less
44.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing follow up to The Right Person April 23, 2019
When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy Padula is based around the same group of friends as the first book but this time, with a different struggle in mind. One of their close friends has been injured and the story is about how each one of them cope. This book touches on the struggle to get out of the darkness and back into the light but also the great feeling of having an amazing support system to help you when in need. It makes you feel grateful for the friends you have and makes you want to help others in their times of need. While struggle with the injury of that friend, Jason, one of the main characters in this book, has a tough time with just that. But, by the end of the book he realizes just how great of friends he has and starts to follow his faith. It is an amazing transition and overall the book is very relatable. I would again, recommend this to all teenagers whether you are starting or finishing high school. It is a great read to remind of all the good you have in your life even when darkness strikes.Show Less
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1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Compelling Young Adult Novel April 23, 2019
The Right Person by Stacy Padula focuses on the ins and outs of high school drama. Giving you a look into the world of teenagers. The parties, the relationships, the drinking. In the book, a group of high school freshman struggle to find themselves and use outlets they never would imagine. The characters are so true to life. Coming from someone who is currently in high school, it could not get more real. Chris, the main character is known as the life of the party. True to any high school, they all have one. He struggles to stray away from this lifestyle and tries to become more family and school oriented. In end, it finally happens for him. Courtney, his new girlfriend, is not used to the party lifestyle at all. She is a newbie and leaves her past behind to see if this life is for her. She quickly realizes this is not what she planned for and tries to go back to the way things used to be. Overall, this book is a great read. It has many life lessons that anyone could learn from. Being there for others, seeking and staying with real friends, as well as being true to yourself. I would recommend it to anyone starting high school or even finishing high school to bring back the memories of the short four years.Show Less
46.
Great Book April 22, 2019
As a high school student myself I have a personal connection to this book. The way that the use of drugs and alcohol are presented in this book are unfortunately truthful. As you read further and further into the book you see the main characters become more and more distant to their religion and families and instead choose to make poor decisions to further their social status.
Chris is a great athlete which was proven in his possible spot on the JV Football team as a freshman. The only thing that is holding him back is his dependence on drugs and alcohol. As the story continues you see him start to reject his old ways and focus on his future as a football star.
This story shows real life challenges that real people are faced with as students in high school. The characters in the book are faced with many different choices that influence their social status and their friendships. I do believe that people that are headed into highschool should read this book so they know how to handle certain crises that will inevitably influence them during their journey through high school.Show Less
47.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A wonderful read! April 21, 2019
Gripped Part 1 by Stacy Padula tells the gripping story of a star student athlete who let a mere setback turn into a major addiction. It exemplifies the importance of understanding that nobody is safe from drug abuse, not even the classic golden child, and expresses the unfortunately realistic young ages at which this abuse starts. This book is also a very good example of the ways in which others are affected by one person’s irresponsible actions. I would highly suggest Gripped to anybody in high school, as it is an extremely good resource in seeing just how large of an effect your actions can have on your future.Show Less
48.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great read April 19, 2019
The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula, allows readers to learn from the mistakes of the young and naive characters. It shows how entangled young adults can get in drugs and alcohol, and the consequences that come with them. When relationships are ruined due to the mistakes the teens have made, many of them question their actions, and if it is worth the loss of friends and family.
Gripped Part 1 will show young adults how easy it is to succumb to peer pressure and how it can ruin relationships. This book teaches valuable lessons to anyone struggling with addiction or who is faced with decisions posed by people who may be negative influences. It also shows how faith in God can help to bring teens out of situations if they need someone to turn to.Show Less
49.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing book for everyone April 10, 2019
The book Gripped – Part 1: The Truth We Never Told is a real page-turner! It took me only 2 days to read it because of the very capturing storyline. The book builds on the previous Montgomery Lake High novels also written by Stacy Padula, all of the characters that feature in Gripped 1 also appeared in the MHL series. However it can be read separately.
The story tells how teens can get involved with (prescription) drugs and the resulting effect on themselves and their family and friends. The characters are very well described and evolve in the book which makes it very easy to relate with them while seeing the errors in their decisions warning everyone for these pitfalls when dealing with (prescription) drugs.
Thank you Stacy for writing this book! I hope it will prevent a lot of kids (and maybe adults) from sliding down the slippery slope that is drug use.Show Less
50.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
MLH Book April 5, 2019
The Right Person of the MLH series was an exceptional book which I highly recommend to teens and preteens. It was nice to read a book about topics that I could relate to, compared to the typical, heavy English literature books that I am assigned to read in my AP-Lang class at school. I found the book very interesting and I was always wanting to read more. The book provides a very accurate description of the situations that occur in high school and similar to “real life,” I could not wait to see what would happen next.
Throughout the book it shows examples of friendship issues, boy issues, and substance issues. These are things that every high schooler can relate to and is also exposed to. The book shows teens how to deal with these issues and eventually emerge with a positive outcome. This book would help preteens to prepare for true high school experiences, instead of the way it is sometimes glamorized in movies or TV shows. There are many different characters in the book and each one is going through something different, whether it is a boyfriend predicament, friendship dilema, or drug problem. This makes the book more understandable to a wider audience, and can help show kids that they are not alone.
Additionally, The Right Person, through its them of being influenced, can also teach teens the consequences of our actions. Things we say or do affects other people. Even though sometimes we feel very self-focused, this book shows us that we have the power to influence others and should also be aware of the way others can influence us. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!Show Less
51.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Must read for all Young Adults April 2, 2019
The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told investigates the complicated social lives of young adults ranging from middle-school to college. The story follows numerous people throughout their lives outside of school and demonstrates how difficult decision can be for young adults, and the consequences that these decisions have. The book deals with drug abuse, relationships, and the effects of miscommunication as it follows the lives of the children from Montgomery lake, while brilliantly setting up the rest of the series.
This story is perfect for Middle School and High School students, as it is a quick read, and deals with many of the issues that they may face. The book offers not only a warning against drug abuse, but also has the ability to teach many life lessons and guide a young adult through the tumultuous times that are Middle School and High School. This book is a must read for all Young Adults, and I would easily rate it a 5/5.Show Less
52.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
an essential book for both parents and teens alike to read. March 26, 2019
Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy A. Padula is an essential book for both parents and teens alike to read. The book follows multiple characters through a fast-paced and impossible to put down storyline that dives into the subject matter of addiction, specifically teenage drug abuse. The story begins with Taylor Dunkin, a college-aged football player, who has excellent NFL potential. Taylor has fallen victim to a sports-related injury and subsequent surgery and is prescribed painkillers, a medicine which ultimately causes more harm than good for Taylor, his family, and friends; an unfortunate, but an all too common occurrence that has ramifications that begin to impact the greater community of Montgomery. Taylor’s story intersects with other characters throughout the book, such as his younger brother Marc and their immediate family and takes us back in time in order to better understand Jon and Chantal’s relationship and Cathy and Jason’s relationship respectively. The characters have varied experiences with drug and alcohol use at a young age, but these substances still have a severe impact on the future of all characters.

This story is perfect for Middle School and High School students, as well as their parents. It is an educational, yet entertaining narrative that highlights the growing problem of addiction in the U.S and just how easy it is for harmless fun to take a dark turn, regardless of who you are or where you come from.Show Less

53.
A look into the past March 17, 2019
There is a first time for everything. In the book “The Battle for Innocence,” we are shown the first expressions of teenage rebellion amongst the kids of Montgomery Lake. Taking us all the way back to the eighth grade, this book gives the reader the chance to see where exactly the Montgomery Lake High kids began their journey to high school popularity. It is extremely interesting to see who changed due to the temptation of bad influence, and who remained true to their morals.Show Less
54.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
great read! March 17, 2019
The Forces Within by Stacy Padula tells the story of an adventure gone wrong. This book is about a group of teens, just looking to explore their friends summer house and unfortunately getting caught in something much more. The reader learns so much more about characters they thought they knew, and gets a very deep insight into their childhoods. My favorite part of this book was the obviously powerful story coming through in a very entertaining way. I just couldn’t put it down!Show Less
55.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A Great, Honest Book For Teens March 13, 2019
The novel Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, by Stacy Padula is book that I could not be put down due to its unique character web and thorough storyline. It addresses the problem of addiction within teenagers from a variety of situations, such as affecting a potential professional football player named Taylor Dunkin. Taylor is helped by other characters such as his brother Marc to move past his troubles with drug abuse after being prescribed painkillers after surgery. Along with this, multiple relationships are created that are also affected in some way by drugs, specifically targeting the partnership of Chantal and Jon. As a result, two outliers, Cathy and Jason, bond together to avoid being impacted by the same problems while also maintaining a healthy relationship. Through this, they both continually help their friends and family to return Montgomery to the socially-active and safe place that it used to be.

This book is a quick read that is perfect for Middle School and High School students, while also being very applicable to adults wanting to know more about teenage drug abuse. This book introduces the consequences that come with taking drugs, and this could hopefully reduce the likelihood of students utilizing drugs throughout their education; this is very important considering the steep increase of drug usage in the United States. In all, I rate this book a 5/5 and would recommend reading it. I loved this book both because it was powerful and thorough, yet easy to follow.
– Review by Kyle Banker, Beaver Country Day School, Class of 2019Show Less

56.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Amazing book! January 8, 2019
The book The Right Person by Stacy Padula is one that reflects the hardships and choices throughout high school. The desire to fit in and be popular leads to many poor choices within the book. Obstacles such as partying, drugs, and alcohol use characterize the novel. The characters are faced with choosing whether to party to fit in or follow their hearts and do what they know is right. Throughout the book you meet many characters who are changed and define themselves by the decisions they have chosen to make.
The two main characters in the story are Courtney Angeletti and Chris Dunkin. Courtney is first known as being the perfect mayor’s daughter, while Chris is remembered for his crazy parties. When these two become a couple their influences on each other cause them to switch roles. Chris realizes he is letting his life go to waste and stops wanting to attend parties, drinking, and doing drugs. On the other hand, Courtney has become completely wrapped up in her newfound popularity and will do anything it takes to fit in. With the help of God these characters struggle to get their lives on track.
This book informs you of the difficulties faced throughout high school and provides many life lessons. This story is relatable to any high school and something many students can connect with. It is a quick and easy read that will have you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this to any high school students or soon to be high school students. There are many things you can take away from this book that could even help guide you in your own life.Show Less
57.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Excellent book for all teenagers! December 8, 2018
The Forces Within is a story that explores the power of spirituality and the battle that many teenagers go through when faced with tough decisions. The story focuses on life after Andy Rossetti wakes up from his coma and what his recovery process looks like, including the recovery that those closest must go through as well.

The Forces Within begins in Fallen Lake, a small New England town, where Leslie’s family owns a Mansion. A group of friends decides to go there for a weekend, but as soon as their trip begins, it is apparent that supernatural forces are at work. The story allows the reader to better understand the characters that they met in the previous MLH books and reveals the truth in who each person really is.

I recommend The Forces Within to all teenagers, especially those who are currently struggling with identity and social pressures. It would be useful to read the other books in the MLH series before reading The Forces Within to fully understand the characters and their relationships to one another. The story is filled with suspense and drama, something that kept me glued to each page. High school is a time for teenagers to discover themselves and this story does a great job of describing some difficulties that are very relatable, and how to get through those daunting situations.Show Less

58.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
This novel is a fantastic read for teens who are experiencing the ups and downs of growing up November 24, 2018
This novel is a fantastic read for teens who are experiencing any type of obstacle. Specifically, those who are struggling with a tragedy, and are resorting to drugs or other violent tendencies. Many children struggle with challenges such as sick family or friends, death, or divorce. This novel describes how it is possible to see the light in even the most dreadful of situations and turn them into a positive experience. It also emphasizes the importance of not getting caught up in the negatives of something, and focusing on the positives.
It is also a great influence for teens who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. It emphasizes the negative effects and challenges of drug abuse and how it can cause something so destructive as fatal injury to you or someone else. The book also describes the possibility of overcoming drug addiction, and how even people who seem so perfect, such as pastors, can struggle with drug abuse. The book emphasizes the message of positivity and seeing the light in a dark situation. It also emphasizes the importance of being proactive and helping others, as well as being a contributive member to your community. Overall, I highly recommend this book for all teens. It provides great insight on appropriate ways to handle difficult times, and the importance of working together through tough situations.Show Less
59.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Great book ! October 21, 2018
Highschool is supposed to be an open space of learning and change, where you are meant to respect and support your peers, no matter what they may be going through. Unfortunately, it is not always like this. People tend to judge others based on prior reputations, social status, looks, pretty much everything you could think of to separate one crowd, one person from another. “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula represents party animal Jason David’s’ experience with trying to change for the better in the extremely restricting environment of Montgomery Lake High.
In “The Aftermath,” Jason takes a step back to look at his life and analyze what he does on a daily basis. At 15 years old, Jason is a popular jock, who gets good grades, but most importantly, loves partying. He recognizes that this constant party lifestyle is dangerous at such a young age, and decides to make a switch in his mindset. He soon realizes that because of his reputation, some might be skeptical of the possibility of his transformation. Throughout the book, Jason is tested with rumors and temptation, but he comes out victorious and serves as a good example to not only his friends, but to those who didn’t believe he could do it.Show Less
60.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Really good book for highschoolers September 29, 2018
In the wake of a disaster, it is only natural for communities to come together in an effort to rebuild what was brought down. The residents of Montgomery Lake seemed to take this sentiment to heart in Stacy Padula’s second book, “When Darkness Tries to Hide.” After a devastating tornado hits, one of the students at montgomery lake high is put in a coma, and an unlikely group of his classmates set up something for the community in his honor.
This book focuses on Jason, a popular jock and avid party-goer, as he begins to come to a realization that his reputation as the “life of the party” will only give him so much joy. This book acts as a good reminder that people change, and that even just coming to the conclusion that you are not content with the way you treat yourself or others is an imperative step in making a much bigger change in your overall lifestyle.Show Less
61.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Great read! September 29, 2018
Going into your first year of high school is a historically stressful, confusing, scary experience. Surrounded by new faces, new perspectives, and new ideas, it is easy for a young impressionable teenager to be tempted to go against their morals and change themselves in an effort to fit in and make a good impression on their classmates, even if they know it’s not the right thing to do. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, perfectly represents this internal conflict by entering the minds of a group of incoming freshman at Montgomery Lake High as they come across new obstacles in their social lives, much unlike what they experienced in middle school.
The Right Person is centered around a group of friends, all connected by one thing – a shared love of partying. The story focuses primarily on Chris, an athlete who is known for being the “life of the party,” and his new girlfriend Courtney, a girl with a strong moral compass and strong religious beliefs. Each go through almost opposite changes in an effort to please the other, as Courtney begins to attend more and more parties and become closer with Chris’ friend group, while Chris decides to stop partying, getting him in trouble with his “best friends.”
This book is a good portrayal of something that most high schoolers experience at one point or another, and it would definitely be helpful for middle schoolers who are currently preparing for their high school experience. The Right Person serves as a reminder that you can break off from the crowd, and if your friends make you do something that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable with, you shouldn’t feel pressured to because these people obviously don’t have your best interest in mind. Just keep being yourself and following your own path, and you will find the right person.Show Less
62.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Fantastic Novel for Adolensents September 26, 2018
The book “The Right Person”, by Stacy Padula, is an excellent novel for adolescents going through the stress and pressure of growing up. The book describes the story of a group of teenagers who undergo the numerous changes of a growing teenager. The story focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on alcohol and drugs. He is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney; a girl who is firm on her morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, intrigued by this new surrounding becomes absorbed into the party scene of Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in. Along with the two main characters, each character experiences a different aspect of growing up whether it is learning how to overcome peer pressure when faced with temptation, choosing between maintaining moral values and being popular, and managing making and losing friends. The book provides an accurate description of how difficult life can be during middle and high school and emphasizes the importance of sticking true to yourself and maintaining the same moral values. This story is a great read for adolescents as it is extremely relatable as they may be going through the same struggles as the characters in the novel.
As a teenager, I can personally relate to this story as it emphasizes the struggle of being a teenager with trying to fit in, reject peer pressure, and retain the same moral values. During middle and high school, it is extremely difficult to find friends who will want to be with you if they do not share the same moral standards with you. Additionally, kids in middle and high school can be extremely pressuring when it comes to drinking/ doing drugs, and may only want to be with people who endure in that kind of behavior. As a teenager, part of growing up is learning how to make friends who will accept and you and respect your moral values and it is important not to get too caught up in pressure and stress from social hierarchy.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to any teenagers who may be experiencing these same challenges as they undergo the changes of becoming an adult. Additionally, I feel it would be very beneficial for parents of adolescents to read as well in order to get a sense of the perspective of a child this age, and know how easy it is to slip into the wrong habits. I feel it is extremely relatable and provides a great insight into what life is like during high school, and can provide advice about how to handle specific situations.Show Less
63.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great Read August 31, 2018
Starting high school and becoming a young adult can present many challenges and difficult choices. At this time, you are trying to find yourself and choose what kind of person you want to be. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story about a group of incoming high school freshman at Montgomery Lake High School. Alcohol, peer pressure, and partying causes lots of drama and decisions throughout the book, which relates to many high schoolers today.
The story focuses on Courtney, a religious, good girl who begins to break her morals when she starts dating party-crazy Chris. Although, Courtney’s religious values start rubbing off on Chris, and he begins to want something more than just drinking and partying in his life. The opposite begins the happen to Courtney, as she begins to wonder about the partying lifestyle, and starts to lean farther away from her stern morals.
I recommend this book too pre-teens and teenagers who will begin to go through these troubling years soon. Seeing Courtney and Chris’ point of view on entering high school is a good way to prepare yourself. Sticking to your morals is a huge lesson throughout the novel, as well as trying to change your bad habits when entering a new environment.Show Less
64.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Much like Andy’s life in Montgomery Lake April 24, 2018
In “The Forces Within” by Stacy Padula, events in Montgomery Lake take a long-awaited turn: Andy Rosetti wakes up from his coma. After spending a month trapped within his own body, Andy is faced with a unique set of challenges in another unfamiliar setting – Fallen Lake. As soon as the group enters the mansion, it is evident that there are larger forces at work.
Much like Andy’s life in Montgomery Lake, he is forced to make difficult choices and truly think about the people in his life during his time at Fallen Lake. Andy must rely on his own instincts and be able to trust himself, bringing up a message that Padula has woven throughout “The Forces Within”: identity. Unable to trust those around him, Andy must come to terms with and understand himself in order to navigate Fallen Lake. In this book, the students of Montgomery Lake High come to learn much about both themselves and each other.
An engaging page-turner, the latest book in the Montgomery Lake High series does not disappoint. Even as the story unfolds in a mansion consumed by supernatural forces, this book presents very relatable and real issues in an approachable way. Much like the teens in Montgomery Lake, teenagers today are often plagued by social pressures and struggle to discover who they really are.Show Less
65.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
I would recommend this book to all high schoolers April 5, 2018
A trip to Fallen Lake takes an unusual twist when Andy Rosetti and his closest friends end up in an old spooky mansion. The students quickly discover that dark forces are present throughout the house, and discerning illusion from reality becomes increasingly hard to do.

Suspenseful and filled with unexpected turns, The Forces Within will keep readers guessing until the very end. This book not only gives insight into the true identity of some of the Montgomery characters, but causes readers to question what is true in their own lives.

I would recommend this book to all high schoolers. Not only is it a page turner but it forces the audience to really think. Topics such as social status, temptation, and identity are all prevalent in this book and are important for high schoolers to think about. This book also offers the message that prayer and devotion to God are the most comforting defenses a person can have as they go through various battles in life–a lesson that will serve students both in school and during the rest of their lives.Show Less

66.
Chantal finds herself recalling the events of 7th grade when she first entered the complicated love triangle with Jon and Andy and when the Montgomery …March 17, 2018
Standing over Andy in his hospital bed, Chantal finds herself recalling the events of 7th grade when she first entered the complicated love triangle with Jon and Andy and when the Montgomery kids first became involved with partying. Facing new temptations, the students from Montgomery will have to decide whether to keep God at their lives’ center or allow themselves to be brought into darkness. The Battle for Innocence allows the reader to learn about the different influences and decisions which have shaped the characters of Montgomery into who they are in high school.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is faced with temptation in their lives, especially students in middle school or high school. It shows how much of a negative effect bad influences can have on people and how rapidly poor decisions can escalate once one starts to give into temptation. The Battle for Innocence shows that the best way to fight against the pressures of darkness is through prayer and an active relationship with God.Show Less

67.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Like many teens March 6, 2018
In “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula, the reader is taken back to Montgomery Lake in the wake of the tragic storm that shook the close-knit town and left Andy Rosetti in a coma, fighting for his life. The focus is brought to popular high school freshman Jason Davids as he struggles to process what has happened.
Seeing the world from Jason’s perspective, the reader gains valuable insights into his struggles, now amplified by the guilt and confusion he feels following Andy’s accident. Jason makes the difficult decision to change his partying ways, but soon realizes that it will be a long and challenging road. Like many teens, Jason is faced with many temptations along the way and must find the strength to continue on his new path.
While this book is universal in its themes, I would recommend it to high schoolers in particular. Like Jason, teens everyday are faced with difficult choices and with the reality that the right decision may not always be the easiest. The topics of popularity and faith are all things that are very present in the lives of high schoolers, and teens can learn a lot from seeing how Jason navigates those same issues.Show Less
68.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
like Chantal and Jon’s friendship February 12, 2018
In “The Battle for Innocence,” the reader gains valuable insight into the background of the Montgomery Lake High characters. This book is important for the audience to understand how many of the relationships in the present day came to be, like Chantal and Jon’s friendship. It is surprising to see how much their relationship has been through from the time that they initially met each other, but it this provides helpful context for the state of their current relationship.
My favorite character in “The Battle for Innocence” is Jon. I was impressed that even as a young seventh grader, he was able to stand by what he believed in. He had the courage to defend his beliefs to his friends when almost all of them didn’t understand or respect his decision. While his faith may have wavered later on, Jon also had the strength to find his way back to his faith. These are a testament to his character.Show Less
69.
the reader gains insight into Jason’s true personality and the potential he has to be not only a good person, but also a faithful one February 12, 2018
The second book in the Montgomery Lake High Series, When Darkness Tries to Hide, continues the journey of the students at MLH as they venture further into the depths of high school. After following the stories of Chris and Courtney in The Right Person, the focus shifts to Chris’s wayward, childhood best-friend of almost a decade: Jason Davids.

When Jason is first introduced, he is dealing with many of the same challenges that Chris once faced. Already addicted to multiple prescription drugs, Jason has fallen in with a dangerous and unsupportive crowd. A tragic accident points Jason onto a new path, and he begins to realize how manipulative and unkind his companions are. All the while, Jason struggles to reconcile his dark past with his desire for a meaningful life. Throughout the novel, the reader gains insight into Jason’s true personality and the potential he has to be not only a good person, but also a faithful one. However, because of the darkness surrounding him, he struggles to see the benefit of leading any other lifestyle than his current, party-filled one.

Jason’s struggles are relatable to any teen or adult who has deviated from their beliefs or has struggled to make the right choices.Show Less

70.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
It has been three weeks since a terrible storm left Andy in a coma February 7, 2018
It has been three weeks since a terrible storm left Andy in a coma, and for Jason Davids, nothing has been the same. Jason, the most popular freshman boy at Montgomery Lake High School, recognizes that he needs to make a change in life and give up the partying lifestyle he has been a part of for the past two years. Jason discovers this task is not going to be easy and struggles to turn away from darkness, as he is constantly presented with new temptations. Jason must decide whether to go back into the daze he has been living in or look for a new source of strength to help him win his battle over his addictions.

I would recommend this book to anyone in middle school or high school, as it touches on topics very prevalent to this age group: temptation, gossip, popularity, and prayer. It reminds readers that one’s reputation in high school will be insignificant to the rest of our lives, and that, therefore, people should focus on more important matters such as their relationship with God.Show Less

71.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
a terrible storm has hit Montgomery Lake and left Andy Rosetti … December 6, 2017
When tragedy hits a community, people are often left with a choice: they can either allow themselves to sink further into the darkness or find hope and choose light.
In “When Darkness Tries to Hide”,a terrible storm has hit Montgomery Lake and left Andy Rosetti in a coma. Jason Davids is greatly upset by the accident and feels responsible for what has happened. He is presented with a choice to either continue into the the darkness of drugs and alcohol he has surrounded himself with for the past two years, or he can join some old friends and try and bring light into this situation.

I recommend this for people of all ages, especially those who have recently dealt with a traumatic event or have been struggling or know someone struggling to follow a moral path. It reminds us of the gift of God’s forgiveness and how he can bring hope and comfort into the most troubling of times. It also teaches us the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who will be a positive influence on us. Kind words and support from a friend can go a long way as shown through how impacted Jason is by his experience.Show Less

72.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Chris finds himself becoming tiresome of his partying ways and looking for something more November 12, 2017
High School can be a difficult time in one’s life and presents unfamiliar situations and temptations that challenge one’s morals. Parties, peer pressure, and popularity can become an attraction and lead students away from God. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High as they confront these same obstacles faced as many other high school students around the world.

The story focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on alcohol and drugs. As freshman year begins, Chris finds himself becoming tiresome of his partying ways and looking for something more. He is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney; a girl who is firm on her morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, intrigued by this new surrounding becomes absorbed into the party scene of Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in.

This book depicts the struggles many kids encounter during their high school years through the eyes of compelling characters. I recommend this book to both students currently in high school and middle schoolers preparing for these tricky years. It is a reminded of God’s presence in our lives and the importance of seeking strength through him in times of uncertainty.Show Less

73.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Engaging and well-written October 9, 2017
The Right Person, the first book in the Montgomery Lake High book series by Stacy Padula, chronicles the difficulties faced all too commonly by high school students. As the story follows a group of friends – some new, some old – as they navigate the beginnings of freshman year, the reader is quickly drawn to two of the main characters, Courtney and Chris.

All throughout middle school and even the summer leading up to ninth grade, Courtney is a person of integrity and great faith. She has no issue standing up for her religious beliefs and saying no to the peer pressure to indulge in drugs and alcohol. However, like many new high schoolers, Courtney is drawn away from her convictions and swept into the world of popularity and the pressures of fitting in. Consumed with the desire to be liked by her new boyfriend Chris and his party going friends, Courtney abandons everything that she once stood for. Chris, on the other hand, begins the story as a diehard party goer and is rarely sober. However, upon reflection on his own life Chris begins to see God in his life again – not through his own actions, but the influence another person has on his life.

This story very accurately details the pressures teenagers face and the feeling that fitting in and loving God may not seem to go together. I think many high schoolers, especially those feeling consumed by the constant social pressure, will be able to relate to the ups and downs the characters in The Right Person face. Their struggles with the sudden prevalence of drugs and alcohol in Montgomery Lake is very real to new high schoolers suddenly faced with these difficult choices. I would recommend this book to all teenagers, but especially those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse or those who feel they might be at risk of future abuse.Show Less

74.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Must in homes June 16, 2015
Amazing read for any one but every high schooler could use it
75.
2 of 3 people found the following helpful
Realistic book that any young person can relate to and learn from August 30, 2011
A great read for anyone going into middle school, high school, or even college. This book describes a lot of situations that young adults in our society are faced with on a daily basis and brings to life all of the consequences associated with drug use and addictive behavior. It is entertaining to read and each character is very realistic. Every teenager should get their hands on this book and take the time to read it and also maybe learn a few lessons from it as well. Overall great book!Show Less
76.
2 of 4 people found the following helpful
Believable Characters August 6, 2011
I can’t believe I had this book sitting on my shelf unread for so long! Fast paced, edgy, a page-turner! Now that I’ve read the first book of the series, I am looking forward to reading the second book. Stacy has captured the teenaged angst well in her books. Her characters are believable and I found myself drawn into the story.
Well done!
77.
4 of 5 people found the following helpful
beautifully written August 2, 2011
Well this is a book that I received for review a few months back, it has set in my TBR pile now for awhile as I never found time to get to it. But now that I have read it I can only say that I wish I had gotten to it a lot sooner. I found myself completely attached to this book, I was literally not able to put it down. I would stay up to all hours of the night trying to finish it so that I could find out what was going to happen next.

The characters are well developed, and completely believable. I was transformed back to my high school days, I felt a real connection with Brain as I found myself to be more like him. I was able to relate to all of the characters as I found myself and my group of friends in each of the characters. I found myself wanting to cry as I read some of the obstacles that these teens have to go through, to learn the difference between right and wrong.

The plot is well well spaced and not quickly written as I find in some books that I have read. I never found myself stuck thinking why am I reading this, it was smooth sailing from the beginning to the end. I can not wait to see what happens to the characters in the sequel as I have found myself completely attached. Great debut novel by a great author.Show Less

78.
4 of 5 people found the following helpful
Confronts issues in an honest and real way… February 17, 2011
This book does an amazing job capturing the “realness” that is the adolescent experience. It lays the foundation for parents to start talking with their children about the issues they will inevitably confront in their futures. It is enjoyable, engaging and written in a way that seems pure and honest. The religious overtones are faith-based versus advocating for a specific denomination which makes this book accessible to all. As a practitioner, I am exploring using this book to help guide my clients and their families make sense of what goes on around them. I am eager to read the other novels in the series.Show Less
79.
3 of 4 people found the following helpful
Really brings you back! February 16, 2011
This is a great book! It’s perfect for teenagers because it helps prepare them for all of the experiences that high school brings. The book talks about difficult subjects for teens and shows them how to overcome the obstacles. It’s also great for adults, because it really brings back memories of your high school days! You learn so much about the characters, you feel like you know them and can relate it back to your own life. This is an excellent read! It’s hard to put the book down!Show Less
80.
3 of 4 people found the following helpful
Montgomery lake February 15, 2011
While reading this Book I was taken back to my senior year in high school, remembering all the mistakes and the good choices I’ve made that year. Montgomery Lake will make you remember your high school days and how it was those days that made and mold you into the person you are now. Ever chapter brings in new challenges and new frustrations as you which you can actually go in to the book and say “what are you doing?!!!”. I couldn’t put the book down and every time I finally did I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. You always want to know what happens next!
The characters are easy to relate, you find yourself liking some and hating some,then there is one that reminds you of yourself. For me it was Julianna. Everything she went through brought back so much memories of my life. I know that if you read this book it will remind you of the lessons you’ve learned and it will make you learn most of them all over again.
I recommend this book to anyone, who wants to learn and grow, even though it is High School and the story is more for High School kids, there is still something that you can take, no matter how old.
Most importantly I know that this book and the series will help young teenagers to be conscious of their choices and who they spend their time with. I know that this book will help so many to be able to face High School and also life with wisdom.
Stacy’s story will stay with you for a while after you read it, the lessons and the experiences you will get from the book will stick with you.Show Less

Electronically Submitted Reviews

Title: The Right Person

High School can be a difficult time in one’s life and presents unfamiliar situations and temptations that challenge one’s morals. Parties, peer pressure, and popularity can become an attraction and lead students away from God. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High as they confront these same obstacles faced as many other high school students around the world.

The story focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on alcohol and drugs. As freshman year begins, Chris finds himself becoming tiresome of his partying ways and looking for something more. He is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney; a girl who is firm on her morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, intrigued by this new surrounding becomes absorbed into the party scene of Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in.

This book depicts the struggles many kids encounter during their high school years through the eyes of compelling characters. I recommend this book to both students currently in high school and middle schoolers preparing for these tricky years. It is a reminded of God’s presence in our lives and the importance of seeking strength through him in times of uncertainty.

-Kelly Mitchell, Newton Country Day School Class of 2018


Title: The Right Person

Starting high school and becoming a young adult can present many challenges and difficult choices. At this time, you are trying to find yourself and choose what kind of person you want to be. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story about a group of incoming high school freshman at Montgomery Lake High School. Alcohol, peer pressure, and partying causes lots of drama and decisions throughout the book, which relates to many high schoolers today.

The story focuses on Courtney, a religious, good girl who begins to break her morals when she starts dating party-crazy Chris. Although, Courtney’s religious values start rubbing off on Chris, and he begins to want something more than just drinking and partying in his life. The opposite begins the happen to Courtney, as she begins to wonder about the partying lifestyle, and starts to lean farther away from her stern morals.

I recommend this book too pre-teens and teenagers who will begin to go through these troubling years soon. Seeing Courtney and Chris’ point of view on entering high school is a good way to prepare yourself. Sticking to your morals is a huge lesson throughout the novel, as well as trying to change your bad habits when entering a new environment.

– Caroline Forbes, Needham High School Class of 2019


Title: The Right Person

The Right Person by Stacy Padula focuses on the ins and outs of high school drama. Giving you a look into the world of teenagers. The parties, the relationships, the drinking. In the book, a group of high school freshman struggle to find themselves and use outlets they never would imagine.

The characters are so true to life. Coming from someone who is currently in high school, it could not get more real. Chris, the main character is known as the life of the party. True to any high school, they all have one. He struggles to stray away from this lifestyle and tries to become more family and school oriented. In end, it finally happens for him. Courtney, his new girlfriend, is not used to the party lifestyle at all. She is a newbie and leaves her past behind to see if this life is for her. She quickly realizes this is not what she planned for and tries to go back to the way things used to be.

Overall, this book is a great read. It has many life lessons that anyone could learn from. Being there for others, seeking and staying with real friends, as well as being true to yourself. I would recommend it to anyone starting high school or even finishing high school to bring back the memories of the short four years. – Written by Samantha Waxman of Oliver Ames High School.


Title: The Right Person

As a high school student myself I have a personal connection to this book. The way that the use of drugs and alcohol are presented in this book are unfortunately truthful. As you read further and further into the book you see the main characters become more and more distant to their religion and families and instead choose to make poor decisions to further their social status.

Chris is a great athlete which was proven in his possible spot on the JV Football team as a freshman. The only thing that is holding him back is his dependence on drugs and alcohol. As the story continues you see him start to reject his old ways and focus on his future as a football star.

This story shows real life challenges that real people are faced with as students in high school. The characters in the book are faced with many different choices that influence their social status and their friendships. I do believe that people that are headed into highschool should read this book so they know how to  handle certain crises that will inevitably influence them during their journey through high school.

– Jack Gallagher, Norwell High School Class of 2020


Title: Books #1-5 (Series Review)

Padula’s Montgomery Lake High series is a hard-hitting look at today’s teen culture. Fictional, yes, but as Padula notes in her biography, based on current events. The books all feature a large cast of students who assemble and reassemble in couplehood. They are from the typically popular crowd, the faith crowd, and the straight-and-narrow group. Although it might be best to start from the beginning, the winding story line throughout the five books currently available are written so a reader can step into any of them. It will take time to get to know the different cliques, but they are fleshed and real, facing angst, fear, and joy. I did not read them in order, and wasn’t bothered.

Each story is told in multiple viewpoints and are mostly daily activities, behind-the-scenes events at school, home, church, sporting events, or activities. One of the stories, The Forces Within, is one of the character’s first-person accounts of a strange dream-like adventure with the friends lost in an evil-laced mansion. Lies, experimentation, angst, and self-discovery are explored.

-Lisa Lickel, Author


Title: The Right Person

The Right Person, the first book in the Montgomery Lake High book series by Stacy Padula, chronicles the difficulties faced all too commonly by high school students. As the story follows a group of friends – some new, some old – as they navigate the beginnings of freshman year, the reader is quickly drawn to two of the main characters, Courtney and Chris.

All throughout middle school and even the summer leading up to ninth grade, Courtney is a person of integrity and great faith. She has no issue standing up for her religious beliefs and saying no to the peer pressure to indulge in drugs and alcohol. However, like many new high schoolers, Courtney is drawn away from her convictions and swept into the world of popularity and the pressures of fitting in. Consumed with the desire to be liked by her new boyfriend Chris and his party going friends, Courtney abandons everything that she once stood for. Chris, on the other hand, begins the story as a diehard party goer and is rarely sober. However, upon reflection on his own life Chris begins to see God in his life again – not through his own actions, but the influence another person has on his life.

This story very accurately details the pressures teenagers face and the feeling that fitting in and loving God may not seem to go together. I think many high schoolers, especially those feeling consumed by the constant social pressure, will be able to relate to the ups and downs the characters in The Right Person face. Their struggles with the sudden prevalence of drugs and alcohol in Montgomery Lake is very real to new high schoolers suddenly faced with these difficult choices. I would recommend this book to all teenagers, but especially those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse or those who feel they might be at risk of future abuse.

-Charlotte Moynihan, Newton Country Day School Class of 2018


Title: The Aftermath

Everyday teenagers are faced with difficult situations that constantly question their faith and moral compass. The Aftermath by Stacy Padula follows a group of students from Montgomery Lake High School, specifically Jason Davids who has a plethora of misconceptions about God and struggles to discover who he is in a world that has already answered that question for him.

The Aftermath is written from the perspective of Jason, allowing the reader to explore his thoughts and feelings in a very detailed manner. The story begins where the last book ended and deals with the events that follow the destructive tornado that touched down in Montgomery leaving one of Jason’s classmates, Andy, in a coma. Jason’s life is forever changed by this accident and the story follows his journey of redemption to deal with the guilt that he feels for leaving Andy helpless in a hospital room.

I recommend The Aftermath to all teenagers, especially those who are currently or have in the past dealt with difficult times or struggled with drugs or alcohol. It is not necessary to read the other books in the MLH series to understand the story. It is very inspiring to read about a teenager that everyone can relate to who deals with societal and personal issues on their path to find God.

-Elizabeth Harvey, Dana Hall School Class of 2017


Title: The Battle for Innocence

“Jon Anderson’s heart pounded heavily against his chest as he opened Chris Dunkin’s front door. He had walked through that door thousands of times before, but never during one of Taylor Dunkin’s ‘ragers.’ As Jon stepped into Chris’s living room, the odor of beer besieged his nostrils. Chris’s home—the normally calm spot, perfect for watching Patriot’s games—resembled a whirlwind.” (page 4) In The Battle for Innocence by Stacy A. Padula, a Young Adult/Realistic Fiction novel, the main character, Jon Anderson, is thrown into just what the quote above says: a whirlwind. The story is set in western Massachusetts, and is a back-story to the Montgomery Lake High book series.

Jon, a seventh grader at Montgomery Lake Middle School, is the only Christian in his group of friends. As a result of the wild parties thrown by his best friend’s older cousin, Jon fears his closest friends are getting pulled into a world of temptation. He is stuck in an emotional battle, torn between pulling away from them and staying as a good influence in their lives. “‘God help me,’ Jon muttered aloud, hurdling over a large rock that lay at the edge of the lake. My heart is filled with conflict. I don’t want to separate myself from my friends. I don’t want to give up on them. I know you can change them. I know they don’t have to follow Taylor Dunkin’s path. Please intervene…I can’t abandon them. They need me. I love them. Please put someone in my life that can hold me accountable. I just want a Christian friend who will be able to understand my struggles.”(page 58) Meanwhile, Jon’s friend from church, Chantal Kagelli, finds herself in a similar dilemma across town. Chantal, a seventh grader at Sterling Middle School, has more than just one boy chasing after her. While her Class President, Andy, is trying to win her over with notes, cookies, and all the right words, her heart is aching over her interest in Jon. Chantal is petrified of her feelings for Jon, and decides that she should try to fight them off by getting closer to Andy. Despite many warnings from her twin sister that Andy could be a bad influence in her life, Chantal decides that it is more important to shine as a good influence in Andy’s life than to worry about the dangerous path he could take her down. Chantal finds herself in a whirlwind of her own, as she learns a life-changing lesson about the teenage world outside of church! The Battle for Innocence is filled with realistic party scenes and tempting situations that teenagers face during middle school and high school. The way the book is written allows readers to get inside Jon and Chantal’s heads and relate to their internal battles.

Out of all of Stacy A. Padula’s books that I have read, The Battle for Innocence is my favorite. I give it 4.75 out of 5 stars. It overflows with valuable background information about the main characters of the Montgomery Lake High series that makes the characters even more relatable and dynamic. I recommend this book to anyone age eleven or twelve. It has a lot of strong messages about peer pressure and making good decisions. I think anyone who has read the Montgomery Lake High books should read The Battle for Innocence to gain a deeper understanding of how Jon, Chris, and their friends got into so much trouble at such young ages. To learn more about the causes of teenage substance abuse and the gateway to addiction join Jon and Chantal in their battle for innocence.

Review by Maxwell Alva, Beaver Country Day Class of 2016


Title: The Aftermath

It has been three weeks since a terrible storm left Andy in a coma, and for Jason Davids, nothing has been the same. Jason, the most popular freshman boy at Montgomery Lake High School, recognizes that he needs to make a change in life and give up the partying lifestyle he has been a part of for the past two years. Jason discovers this task is not going to be easy and struggles to turn away from darkness, as he is constantly presented with new temptations. Jason must decide whether to go back into the daze he has been living in or look for a new source of strength to help him win his battle over his addictions.

I would recommend this book to anyone in middle school or high school, as it touches on topics very prevalent to this age group: temptation, gossip, popularity, and prayer. It reminds readers that one’s reputation in high school will be insignificant to the rest of our lives, and that, therefore, people should focus on more important matters such as their relationship with God.

Written by Kelly Mitchell – Newton Country Day Class of 2018


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide.

This is a book about hope. Hope in the most serious and desperate of circumstances. Hope for healing and hope for deliverance. Hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.

This tale of high school students facing drug/alcohol addiction, peer pressure, the desire for acceptance, and unexpected tragedy hits the mark. Stacy Padula accurately portrays the battles young adults (and even older adults) go through daily. She identifies that “in the” feeling that many try to fill with alcohol, drugs, sex, and other things, and shows the reader the one thing that can fill the void—a relationship with God through Jesus.

Stacy Padula masterfully shares the Gospel of Christ in the pages of this book in a way that really helps the reader to understand. Through the characters of the story, hope, joy, peace and love are evident. But Ms. Padula does not shy away from the struggles that also are a part of the Christian life.

I will recommend her books to teens and adults alike. Well done, Stacy! God is going to use these books mightily.

Book Reviewed by Loren, a Brother in Christ


Title: When darkness tries to hide

A great story on how Gods grace and mercy work in people who accept it. Chris Dunkin who came to Jesus Christ is letting his light shine on his other friends. They are starting to recognize it, especially one of his friends, who is deep into drugs and really needs Christ in his life. It all starts with a tragedy (like how many of us start crying to God) of a kid who goes into a coma and they start a prayer meeting for him.

The point of this story to me is it shows you how God works and moves in situations and people to get his will done,even though we dont understand why or how something good can come from something bad. Like I said before, the series can be for anyone to read, teens or adults. I enjoyed it a lot, especially the way God and His Word is used in these books. Cant wait to read the rest of the series.

Reviewed by Keith, Wakula Correctional Facility


Title: The Forces Within

The Forces Within is a story that explores the power of spirituality and the battle that many teenagers go through when faced with tough decisions. The story focuses on life after Andy Rossetti wakes up from his coma and what his recovery process looks like, including the recovery that those closest must go through as well.

The Forces Within begins in Fallen Lake, a small New England town, where Leslie’s family owns a Mansion. A group of friends decides to go there for a weekend, but as soon as their trip begins, it is apparent that supernatural forces are at work. The story allows the reader to better understand the characters that they met in the previous MLH books and reveals the truth in who each person really is.

I recommend The Forces Within to all teenagers, especially those who are currently struggling with identity and social pressures. It would be useful to read the other books in the MLH series before reading The Forces Within to fully understand the characters and their relationships to one another. The story is filled with suspense and drama, something that kept me glued to each page. High school is a time for teenagers to discover themselves and this story does a great job of describing some difficulties that are very relatable, and how to get through those daunting situations.

Review by Elizabeth Harvey – Needham, MA


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide

When tragedy hits a community, people are often left with a choice: they can either allow themselves to sink further into the darkness or find hope and choose light.

In “When Darkness Tries to Hide” a terrible storm hits Montgomery Lake and leaves Andy Rosetti in a coma. Jason Davids is greatly upset by the accident and feels responsible for what has happened. He is presented with a choice to either continue into the darkness of drugs and alcohol he has surrounded himself with for the past two years, or he can join some old friends and try and bring light into this situation.

I recommend this for people of all ages, especially those who have recently dealt with a traumatic event or have been struggling or know someone struggling to follow a moral path. It reminds us of the gift of God’s forgiveness and how he can bring hope and comfort into the most troubling of times. It also teaches us the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who will be a positive influence on us. Kind words and support from a friend can go a long way as shown through how impacted Jason is by his experience.

Review by Kelly Mitchell, Newton Country Day School Class of 2018


Title: The Right Person, Montgomery Lake High School Series, Book 1.

This story is about a high school freshman named Chris Dunkin, who, along with most of his friends, has been pulled into the party life where drugs, alcohol, and popularity seems to be all that matters until he meets a girl who seems to be different. He feels drawn to her, but doesnt figure out what drew him to her until their lives take a reverse role, that it was the life of Christ in her that was drawing Chris.

To everyones amazement, Chris, the class partier, turns his life over to Jesus Christ and everyone witnesses a dramatic change in him.

The authors purpose is to clearly show the awesome and amazing power God will have in transforming the life of anyone who repents and turns his life over to him. Regardless of ones past.

The book covers many themes dealing with teen peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, popularity, friendship, and even depression.

I loved the Biblical teachings where a teen can understand them in todays examples

Book Reviewed by:  Leon, a Brother in Christ.


Book: The Right Person

This book is about pretty much most of the teenagers today—wanting to party, get drunk, or high. Some of them know and have a personal relationship with God. Like this one girl who is a Christian gets herself caught up in the party scene. Then there is one kid who gets tired of all the partying and getting wasted. Then he finds out about Christ and becomes a believer.

It was a God story. I enjoyed reading this book. It has Scripture and shows how God works to get into you the good message about His Son. I recommended this book to anyone who enjoys a good story with Christianity. It may sound like a book for teenagers, but I believe adults will also enjoy it.

Book Reviewed by Keith.


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide

Kids have a lot of questions… that is no secret! But someone has a haunting secret (and plethora of questions) bound within the pages of When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy Padula. When Darkness Tries to Hide is the thrilling second book in the young adult fiction series Montgomery Lake High. The story takes place in a fictional town in western Massachusetts. Jason Davids and Chris Dunkin take the lead roles in this intriguing book, but Chantal Kagelli and Jon Anderson also play central parts.

When Darkness Tries to Hide reads like a movie reel across your mind. You get to see how a bunch of characters think, instead of just being trapped in one person’s mindset. The story begins two months after where the first book, The Right Person, left off. The main problem in this book is that Chantal’s boyfriend, Andy, is in a coma, and Jason feels responsible for the accident that landed him there. The hail is pelting down. The lightning is a spider web across the sky. Lady, Chantal’s golden retriever, is nowhere to be found. Andy is outside in the ominous storm searching for her. As far as Jason is concerned, he should have been outside saving Lady from the tornado-spawning storm. Instead Andy is sent into a coma, and Jason into a world of dismay. “He had not slept a wink in thirty-seven hours. He glanced at his clock again, seven twenty. You can do this Jason, he said to himself. Just get up and go. Go tell them the truth. Tell everyone at Alyssa’s party that you found Andy’s body. Tell them that he looked dead. Tell them about the horror in Chantal’s eyes when she came rushing up the stairs. Make sure you tell them that it is all your fault.” (page 22) No one knows about Andy’s accident until Jason spreads the news at Alyssa Kelly’s party the following evening. At the party, Jason seeks out his ex-best friend, Chris Dunkin, to confide in. Chris lends Jason an ear, even though Jason has been spreading slanderous rumors about Chris around Montgomery Lake High ever since Chris turned away from drugs, alcohol, and their group of friends two months prior. At the party, Jason and Chris come up with a plan to help Andy and unite the students at Montgomery Lake High. However, no one—not even Chris—knows Jason’s secret about the day of the storm.

I recommend When Darkness Tries to Hide to all teenagers, even ones who have not read the first book in the series. I especially recommend this book to people who are going through hard times, and people who have issues with drugs and alcohol. I give this book four and a half stars! It deserves such a high rating because it has a very interesting idea running all the way through it that keeps the reader fascinated with the story, even after they have finished the book. The ending leaves you wanting to know what happens next and trying to imagine what the third book in the series will bring. I think it should be made into a movie, or a TV series! When Darkness Tries to Hide is filled with answers to those tough questions often asked by kids and teenagers!

Written by Max Alva


Title: The Aftermath

The third book in the Montgomery High Lake Series is another winner. In this book, Ms. Padula addresses the emptiness inside when a person has all the toys and all the things they want. What do you do when you have everything but are still empty? This is the void only God can fill.

Jason finds out that even the drugs, alcohol, sex, and popularity leave him feeling empty. But he is drawn to some who seem truly happy. What Jason finds is that God loves him and can fill his emptiness with his love. Jason faces the demons of addiction, pride, and lust—and in the end is victorious in Jesus.

Another well-written, spiritled book. The real issues faced and the real solutions are on point. I recommend these books for anyone from 12 to 32 or who just thinks like they are still between 12 and 32. I have become a fan of these books. The development of the characters, the story line, and the presentation of the Gospel is truly amazing.

Book reviewed by Loren, a Brother in Christ


Book: The Right Person

The Right Person by Stacy A. Padula takes an in-depth look at the obstacles and pressures an average teenager faces in their lives. It focuses on all the major issues a freshman faces as they enter the battlefield known as high school. 

From peer pressure to drug use to early dating, moral, and faith issues, this book exposes how these issues can lead someone to compromise their morals and doubt their faith in their quest to be accepted.

The main point and recurring theme of this book is the strength and moral grounding that is needed to navigate the troubled waters that our youth face today, that it can only be found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed this book tremendously. It brought me to the front lines of what our young teenagers are facing. It also made me realize some moral issues in my own life that I am compromising to gain acceptance.

Book Reviewed by Keith.


Book: The Forces Within.

This is a story about a high school kid named Andy Rosettie who is stuck in a dream world while he is in a coma. When he wakes up, he is confused by what is real and what isnt.

He comes to realize that what happened in the dream was more real than he wanted to admit because it was showing him the spiritual battles that everyone, including himself, were going through in the real world.

I think this book should be called book number four of theMontgomery Life High Series. Im not sure I would have understood the relationships of all the people without reading the other three first. But I really enjoyed the story and the Biblical teachings in it.

One of the main points I got out of the book is a lot of people claim to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, but never give their hearts to Him. Therefore, they have never known a personal relationship with God and have never received Gods Holy Spirit. Then there are some who have, but they have temporarily walked away from the faith. So the outside appearance can be deceiving.

The spiritual war for our lives never stops. And those who have not received Gods Holy Spirit by grace through faith are truly deceived.

Overall, I loved the book and strongly recommend it.

Book Reviewed by Leon, a Brother in Christ.


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide  

This book focuses around a young teenager named Chris Dunkin. Chris has recently accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior, and, as a result, his life has changed dramatically. Once the life of any party and with a long history of drug and alcohol use, Chris now faces the trials and struggles of maintaining his new Christian morals while attending high school with new Christian friends and old friends from the past.

After a tragic accident happens to a close friend, Chris finds himself surrounded by all his friends, past and present.

I believe the main purpose of this book is to show the struggles and temptations our young teenagers go through on a daily basis and the need for God in all of our lives.

I see recurring themes like the power of prayer and fellowship in this book.

I enjoyed this book because it brought back memories of things I faced as a teenager and things that I continue to face today.

Book Reviewed by Louis.


Title: The Aftermath.

This is a story about a high school kid named Jason Davids who is dealing with peer pressure, alcohol, and drug abuse. He also finds himself caught in the middle of a spiritual battle. Luckily he has several Christian friends praying for and giving him good advice, but he also has a girlfriend and older brother pressuring him to get high and party.

Stacy Padula did an excellent job of highlighting the power of prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit to work through those who are willing to be obedient to His prompting. And how this combination will always bring Gods grace, love and light into the darkest of people.

This book has so many great messages for kids and young adults to learn from, and all of them have the foundational truths from Gods word.

I absolutely loved and enjoyed this book. So much so that any book I see written by Stacy Padula I will gladly read.

This book is mainly aimed at young adults from 12 on up, but holds so much truth and Godly advice, everyone who loves Gods word will enjoy it. And Im confident they will recommend it to every teen they know.

Reviewed by Leon, a brother in Christ.


 Title: The Forces Within.

I really enjoyed reading The Forces Within by Stacy Padula. The start of the book seems a little confused—but that is by design. The confusion sets the stage for the story. Ms. Padula weaves together the natural and spiritual worlds in a very skillful manner.

The story is action packed, entertaining, and extremely thought provoking. There were more twists and turns than a labyrinth, yet through the story is a clear thread tying it all together.

Stacy Padula has addressed very real issues facing teens and adults alike in both the physical and spiritual realms. She brings social issues like peer pressure, cliques, substance abuse, and sex into perspective—and supplies the answer.

Overall, the book is well written. It was a page-turner that I could not put down. One of the best books Ive read in several years. I would say that this book is a must read especially for fans of Frank Peretti. I dare say that Stacy Padulla has taken the baton of the spiritual realm books from Mr. Peretti and is running with it.

Book Reviewed by Loren, a Brother in Christ

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